GET THE GLOW
Summer is the season for bright, glowing skin and bare, happy feet. These 11 DIY skin care tips will help brighten, tighten, and even heal where needed. Better yet, they're cheap, easy, and natural. Just don't forget the sunscreen when venturing outdoors.
EXFOLIATE DEAD CELLS
To exfoliate dead, flaky skin and get down to the healthy new layer underneath, Hello Glow says all it takes is a little sugar. Massage grains of sugar gently into the skin with a circular motion and rinse thoroughly, making sure to apply plenty of moisturizer after drying off. For easier application, add a little oil to make a paste. Sugar contains glycolic acid, which helps break down dead skin cells. Other good exfoliants sitting in the kitchen cupboard are sea salt (great for tough areas such as feet and elbows), baking soda (use a little water to form a paste), and oatmeal (a gentler option that also absorbs oil).
An egg is all it takes to visibly minimize pores, celebrity esthetician Joanna Vargas tells PopSugar Beauty. Separate and whisk the white of one egg, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and a spoonful of yogurt. Apply the mask in circular motions to a clean face, wait 10 minutes, then remove with a warm cloth. Egg whites tighten and tone skin and contain protein that absorbs excess oil. Lemon juice gets rid of nasty bacteria, while yogurt soothes and hydrates skin so it doesn't get too dry.
Oil, dirt, and other debris can clog pores, making them appear larger. Natural Healing Magazine suggests clearing out pores with a DIY pore strip made of gelatin and milk. Mix a tablespoon of unflavored gelatin with 1.5 tablespoons of milk and microwave for 10 seconds. While the mixture is still warm, spread it on your face wherever pores appear large. Wait 15 minutes and pull the strip off carefully.
BRIGHTEN YOUR FACE
If excess oil and residue from sweat, sunscreen, and soap are leaving your face looking dull, try a DIY toner from Thank Your Body. Pour 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar and 4 tablespoons of distilled water into a bottle and shake it up. Apply the mixture all over your face with a cotton ball or pad (be sure to shake it first each time). Apple cider vinegar gently dissolves excess oil, dead skin, and other buildup. It also nixes acne-causing bacteria and balances skin's pH.
WAKE UP YOUR EYES
Nothing ruins a glamorous summer look like puffy, tired eyes. A cheap pantry staple — raw potatoes — comes to the rescue in this DIY eye treatment from Hello Glow. Refrigerate a raw potato, cut two slices, and place one over each eye. Potatoes contain a brightening agent that fights dark circles and an astringent that reduces puffiness by removing water from under the eyes. The cool temperature also constricts the tiny blood vessels around the eyes, making skin look bright and minimizing dark circles -- and it feels so refreshing on a hot day.
BRING OUT YOUR NATURAL GLOW
Instead of trying to achieve an even, radiant complexion by covering your face with makeup, let skin breathe and go all-natural with a DIY face mask made of half a ripe tomato and a teaspoon of plain yogurt. Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp from the tomato, mix in the yogurt, and apply to the face. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes, then rinse with tepid water. Beauty Munsta reports that the tomato paste evens skin tone and minimizes redness and discoloration from sun damage and acne scars. It also clears away dead skin and other impurities to bring out skin's natural glow.
Are you peeling and in pain? Aloe vera gel is known to minimize heat, moisturize skin, and prevent peeling. But some store-bought gels contain drying alcohols that make sunburn worse. For a DIY remedy, cut off a piece of an aloe vera plant and use only the clear gel, not the yellow sap.
Skip skin-damaging UV rays and bronze your body temporarily with DIY self-tanning lotion. Thrive Market suggests brewing extra-strong black tea using two to four tea bags and 4 ounces of hot water. Let the tea cool, put it in a spray bottle, and spritz all over skin until it reaches the desired shade. Or, try mixing white lotion with pure cocoa powder, Bellatory says. Start with one-half cup of lotion and one-third cup of cocoa powder, then add more cocoa powder to get the shade you want. (It will look lighter on skin than it does in the mixing bowl.) Slather on the sweet-smelling lotion until skin has that perfect tan.
LOVE YOUR LEGS
For many people, hair removal is a key part of the summer grooming regimen. Try a super-moisturizing DIY shaving cream from Gold Mountain Beauty. Combine one-half cup oil (olive, almond, or whatever is on hand), one-quarter cup honey, and one-quarter cup liquid castile soap. Transfer to a pump bottle for easy application. The oil and honey will keep skin hydrated, and if you happen to nick yourself, honey has natural antibacterial properties.
PRETTIFY YOUR FEET
Give special attention to feet with a DIY foot mask recipe from Nails Mag. In a blender, purée two whole cucumbers, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Divide the mixture into two large plastic baggies and slide each foot into a baggie. Making sure both feet are fully covered with the mask, sit for five or 10 minutes, then rinse off. The cucumber will refresh sweaty, tired tootsies. Olive oil moisturizes skin, while lemon juice helps soften tough callouses. For extra-smooth feet, rub off dead skin cells with a pumice stone, or add sugar to the mask to transform it into an exfoliating scrub.
SOAK UP OIL
For all the joys of summer beach weather, heat and humidity can leave your face oily and shiny. Instead of splurging on pricey oil-blotting sheets, stow a few coffee filters in your purse to use instead. According to Refinery29, they're made of similar material and work just as well on a budget.